Paris 2010: Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-Cell

- Electric-only A-Class revealed - Mercedes is building 500 examples for a trial in Europe - There's no loss of practicality over the standard car

Mercedes has pulled the wraps off a zero emissions 'E-Cell' version of its smallest car, the A-Class. It's not confirmed for mass production just yet, but the German firm is about to trial 500 of the E-Cell models on the continent.

What's all the fuss about?

Though this isn't the first electric car trial scheme we've seen, the A-Class E-Cell is the first electric car from Mercedes. The electric motor has 94bhp and 214lb.ft of torque.

There's no loss of practicality over the standard A-Class, as the battery is mounted between the cabin floor and the undercarriage. Mercedes also claims that this keeps the centre of gravity very low and improves the handling.

What makes it so green?

The electric motor has a range of 124 miles on a single charge, which takes eight hours from a household or three hours from a fast charging point.

The A-Class E-Cell also has a SmartCharge Communication System, which automatically bills the user for the amount of electricity they've used. Charge it up overnight and you'll benefit from reduced energy costs.

Estimated release date: Trials underway

Estimated cost: Depends if it makes it to production

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